Roxana Azar

illex welcomes American collage artist and photographer Roxana Azar. Roxana’s work utilizes color, texture, and dimension to explore wide-ranging themes that include perspective, point of view, the nature of identity, and the often opposing relationship between the external world of reality and the internal world of the unconscious.

Please enjoy her work and her interview.

Your work provokes intriguing meditations on the relationships between natural forms and abstract color spectra. This is particular apparent in the images showing the human eyes and the flower petals. Please tell us about your approach to the creation of these photographs.

I created these images to better understand the ways in which my photography merges with collage, an aspect I found intriguing because I used them for very different purposes, and yet the process was still instinctive. It was a strange struggle to realize that I can merge the two by exploring different ways of viewing images and objects. The color spectra isolate the objects and images in the frame, while playing tricks on the viewer —- the objects seem to hover in space, and there’s still dimensionality to them. Physical photographs are really precious to me, so I wanted to push myself to actually fold or rip photographs to study the images. With the petals, I wanted to study the idea of the fragility of an idealized subject. They belong to the same flower but I like the confusing separation of them. They can be either drifting away or towards each other.

Your photos also present intriguing interplays of texture and reality. In the photo of the crumpled eye against the color backdrop, for example, the smoothness of the color field is juxtaposed with the three-dimensionality of the eye. This themes appears to be further developed in your diptych of the chair and the color spectrum, which shows a chair and a pillow interacting with a smooth spectrum of coordinating colors. Please tell us more about these observations.

These are both constructions and obstructions of meanings by the juxtaposition of images and objects, combined with the use of technologies. Color is used to isolate and dissect objects to deceive the viewer of its meaning. In the image of the chair and the pillow, the colors that are extracted from the environment are bright and a little poppy, but the objects themselves are dingy and uncomfortable. The pillow is ripped and it’s the only thing cushioning the wooden chair, so it’s this incredibly flawed comfort. The spectrum is used to wash over the initial idea as a response of denial.

Duality is another theme apparent in many of the images that we have shown. In as much detail as you like, please explore if and how such a theme finds expression in your work. 

Layers and duality are crucial in this series. The idea that reality and fiction can merge keeps with this idea of manipulating feelings, which can either hide something or bring it to the surface. I’m trying to understand an unconscious reality versus a conscious falsehood with these layers.

please visit Roxana’s website and flickr for more.

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